The Group of Ministers (GoM) on Telangana pledged to address all concerns on splitting Andhra Pradesh with fairness and objectivity after its first meeting on Friday that was high on symbolism and low on substance.
Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad made it clear that there was no deadline set for the panel to submit its report. Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde — who heads the panel — had on Thursday insisted they would give their report as early as possible but refused to commit to bringing the final bill in Parliament by the winter session.
The GoM will convene again on October 19 for a full-fledged meeting when defence minister AK Antony and finance minister P Chidambaram would also be present.
Usually, such GoMs largely deal with the nitty-gritty of a state’s bifurcation. The Telangana panel, however, has the added responsibility to reach out to the people of Seemandhra and hear them out.
The group will, however, operate from Delhi and may not travel to the state. Hours after the meeting, the home ministry put out a notice inviting stakeholders and experts to give their views.
Meanwhile, as Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader N Chandrababu Naidu’s indefinite hunger strike protesting the “injustice” meted out to the Telugu people entered the fifth day, the former CM was forcibly evicted from the Andhra Bhawan and moved to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital amidst sloganeering by TDP workers.
Rajnath Singh appealed to Chandrababu Naidu to call off his five-day-old hunger strike, citing the approaching cyclone that is threatening to batter the AP coast.
He also appealed to YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy to give up his indefinite fast which began on October 5.